How can communities help sustain the health of Lake Superior in the face of mining, climate change, forest change, invasive species, and emerging chemicals of concern? The challenges facing Lake Superior are many--yet local, regional, and international communities overcame enormous threats to the lake's ecosystems in the past century.
My current research asks: What can we learn from the recoveries around Lake Superior over the past century, as we face new interconnected challenges from climate change, synthetic chemicals, and forest change?
Lake Superior has witnessed several significant conservation success stories in the past half century:
None of these recoveries are complete: the recovered forests are very different than the forests that were logged so quickly, toxics still present huge challenges, a new mining boom is underway just as regulations are being relaxed, and fisheries are certainly not fully recovered.
Yet they are still significant, and they offer us hope as we face new environmental challenges, trying to shape resilient strategies in the face of an uncertain future.
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The main topics (Climate Change, Watersheds, and Mining) pages of this website will include various essays that I write as I research this project. Please feel free to email me with comments, news and updates.
Professor of Environmental History
Great Lakes Research Center and Department of Social Sciences
Michigan Technological University